This is my main gripe with HN right now -- the anti-intellectualism of the community. I recall an article submitted where the author claimed "Academic papers are shitloads of crap. Want to read something? Read some beautiful source code instead."
Nearly all breakthroughs in computing sprung up from an academic context; why would you be so cavalier in dismissing it? You might actually find out what a Y Combinator is!
To learn something, I read books, like textbooks. But maybe that's just me.
It's true that many papers are badly written, but (1) to emphasize: sometimes there is no other source for something, and (2) most books are pretty awful, too, you have to be selective with anything.